Welcome to the Upper Coliban Reservoir Fishing Guide. The Upper Coliban Reservoir was built in 1903 and today serves as a domestic water supply surrounded by farmlands. The Upper Coliban Reservoir is a lovely fishing destination located between surrounding townships Kyneton, Spring Hill, Lauriston and Tylden. It’s a large water supply closely linked to the Lauriston and Malmsbury reservoirs. Feeding of this reservoir is a set of smaller channels and pools that hold good volumes of trout. The Upper Coliban Reservoir has a good volume of redfin and is well known for Trout. As this is part of the local drinking water there is no boating or wadding in this River.
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Upper Coliban Reservoir open to Kayaks
However, very Exciting news for kayakers, Canoe in April 2019 this system finally being opened to Kayakers, Canoes and boats with small electric motors. This is all part of an initiative from the local government. Barkers Creek Reservoir open to kayaks News article
Watch our detailed video guide on our top 10 redfin lures
Upper Coliban stocks 20,000 Murray Cod and a new launching facility
The news got even better on 12/12/2019 a new launching platform was made available for kayakers on premiere mine road. This is now a wonderful destination for kayak fishing which was only made even better on 20/12/2019 as the Upper Coliban reservoir welcomed a massive stocking of 20,000 Murray Cod. What more could you possibly want?
Things to do at Upper Coliban Reservoir and Kyneton
This is an underrated family location. There are open picnic grounds, gas BBQ facilities, and toilets. I have often taken the family there to explore the area and then settle down to some fishing and kite flying with a bbq. Nearby attractions include Trentham falls and Trentham golf club. Or why not visit one of the local cafes or pubs.
Fishing the Upper Coliban Reservoir
At Upper Coliban Reservoir you can catch brown trout, rainbow trout, redfin, Murray cod, tench, carp, yellowbelly, roach and eels. As mentioned above now you can also catch Murray cod as part of the fisheries’ native fish stocking programs. Fishing along the dam wall has always been a reliable place to find some trout in winter and redfin in summer. You can also fish the shallow inlets that feed off the reservoir which holds good numbers of trout.
The reservoir has been heavily stocked with rainbow trout fingerlings. Use this link to follow Victorian trout stocking programs. Upper Coliban Reservoir fishes well seasonally with redfin more active in the warmer months and trout are more active during the cooler months. Most freshwater species feed more aggressively at Dawn and Dusk. In the colder months, you’re likely to see trout surfacing in the early morning. So, my recommendation in winter would be to fish the sunrise.
This is a great location for lures and soft plastics. Check out our guide on the best lures to catch Redfin. Long casting metal lures and spoons are great for land-based anglers and will allow you to target both trout and redfin at the same time. Shallow diving hard body and minnow imitation lures are also excellent choices. You will also certainly catch your fair share of redfin and trout with soft plastics and spinners. You often see trout surfacing to take flys off the surface so fly and crickets so imitations such as the savage Gear Mayfly are great options. Stay up to date with activity and water levels from the Coliban Water website.
Rod set up for fishing the Upper Coliban Reservoir
When targeting freshwater species such as trout, redfin and estuary perch we recommend fishing with a light spinning rod. This will make the experience more enjoyable and improve your catch rates. We suggest a 1-3 or 2-4 kilo fishing rod. Coupled with a 2000, 2500 or 3000 size reel that’s been spooled with a decent quality braid between 4-8 pounds. Then finished with roughly a rod length of a quality fluorocarbon leader.
If you plan to fish with bait from the banks then good options include powerbait in bright colours, crickets, worms, maggots, live minnows and mudeye. Either on a light running sinker rig, paternoster rig or suspended from a float. We have seen many trout and perch caught using these baits and methods.
If you plan on targeting carp from the banks then we would recommend using corn kernels, worms or bread as good bait options. Either on a basic running sinker rig or suspended from a float. It would also be wise to upgrade your fishing outfit to something a little heavier. Perhaps a 3-5 kilo fishing rod coupled with a 3000 size reel spooled with the 8-pound line is a good starting point.
Check out this video if you’re after some tips on how to catch recently stocked freshwater fish
Recommended baits Coliban Reservoir
- Scrub worms
Recommended lures Coliban Reservoir
- Bluefox spinners
- Daiwa DR joint minnows
- Daiwa Bait Junkie 2.5 inch grub
- Savage Gear minnow blade
- Jackall TN50
- Berkley powerbait grub
- Daiwa Presso minnows
- Tasmanian Devil Blade
- Bullet lures 5-0 minnow
- Bassman spinnerbait
- Bullet lures 3cm lure
- strike tiger nymph
- Nories Wasabi spoon
- Rapala countdown floating minnow
- Pontoon 21 paco spoon
- Daiwa Double Clutch
- Tasmanian Devil lure
- Gulp 3-inch minnow
- Zman 2.5 inch grub
- Daiwa Bait Junkie paddle tail minnow
- Zerek fish trap
- eco gear ZX40
- Savage Gear Fathead crank shallow diving
- Squidges biotough grub
- stump jumpers S3
Targeting Trout at Coliban Reservoir
We would highly recommend that you read our detailed guide on how to catch trout which details our favourite lures, baits and techniques. You can follow trout stocking timelines by reading the Victorian trout stocking guide as part of the target 1 million by 2020 and 10 million by 2022 initiatives. When targeting trout with lures we recommend using shallow diving hard body minnows, metal spoons, spinners, Tassie devils and soft plastics which are also very effective on trout. If your bait fishing, then Mudeye, scrub worms, power bait, yabbies and minnows suspended from a float or a running sinker rig are great options when targeting trout at this location. Trout are more active in cold conditions with most catches on the first and last light of the day.
We recommend targeting trout with a 1-3 or 2-4 kilo fishing rod coupled with a 1000, 2000, or 2500 reel spooled with 4-8-pound braid and equivalent fluorocarbon leader. If there are larger trophy size trout around than you can go heavier moving up the scale to a 3-5 kilo class spin rod spooled with fine 8-12-pound braid and equivalent fluorocarbon leader.
We conducted a test to see which would perform better for stocked trout powerbait or lures.
Targeting Redfin at Coliban Reservoir
We recommend targeting redfin with a light spin outfit. This will make the experience more enjoyable and improve your catch rates. A 1-3 or 2-4 kilo fishing rod coupled with a 2000, 2500 or 3000 reel spooled with 4-8-pound braid and equivalent fluorocarbon leader should be perfect. Redfin respond really well to lures and soft plastics so do check our guide on the best lures for catching Redfin When using soft plastics, we highly recommend curl tails, minnow imitations, and paddle tails in both natural and bright colours. Rigged with a jig head that’s 1/8 through to 1/20 in weight. The most effective way to use these is to cast towards visible structure and slow roll the soft plastic with lifts and pauses for the retrieve.
Shallow diving hard body lures, blades and vibes are also very effective in this system. So are traditional spinners and Tassie devils in bright colours. Metal spoons also play a role allowing you to cast great distances and targeting the bigger size reddies. Just remember they are quite heavy and very prone to snags in small inland systems like this one.
Targeting Murray Cod at Coliban Reservoir
Murray Cod is Australia’s largest freshwater fish that grows to impressive sizes. Cod are ambush predators that love the cover of structure so make sure you concentrate your efforts on any visible structure including logs and submerged trees. They will also seek shelter in deeper holes and rock ledges. Cod are most active in low light conditions such as sunrise and sundown. A medium to heavy bait caster rod is ideal when targeting cod. This might be a stiff 6-foot rods in 6-10 kilo class matched with a suitable size bait caster reel spooled with 20lb to 30lb braid and 30lb to 40lb leader. Good lure options for Murray Cod include hard body lures, surface lures, spinnerbaits, swimbaits, shads, lipless crankbaits, paddle tail and curtail soft plastics. These should be worked slowly or tolled fro
Targeting Yellowbelly at Coliban Reservoir
Yellow belly AKA Golden Perch is a beautiful freshwater fish found in this system. With a rich food source available the yellowbelly here grow too thick and plump sizes. Good lure choices include curl tail soft plastics with the zman 2.5-inch grubz and Gulp 3-inch grub minnow both in black are standout choices. Soft vibes such as the Zerek fish trap, Jackall transams and Samaki vibelicious are great options. lip-less crank-baits such as Jackall TN50 and TN60 continue to be very popular so do blades such as the eco gear ZX40 with stinger hooks. Other favourites are the reliable stump jumpers, spinnerbaits, bassman spinners, large grub style soft plastics in dark colours.
Soft plastics are worked best on a 1/8 or 1/4 jig head slow-rolled along any structure. This works particularly well when tying your boat or kayak up against trees and working the soft plastic slowly up against the tree and adding some noise to the action by tapping the butt of your rod or by hitting the jig head into the timber. This brings out the predatory nature of the yellowbelly. Take advantage of down scan and side scan technologies on your sounder and spend some time moving between the structure to find the fish. Other lures to can be worked amongst the timber but in general work really well in open water being slow-rolled or trolled.
When it comes to rod selection we generally use a light spin rod around 7 foot in length in 1-4, 2-4 or 3-5 kilo class paired with a 1000, 2000 or 2500 size reel. Spooled with 8-12 pound braid and an equivalent fluorocarbon leader.
Baitcaster rods and reels are a very popular choice when targeting yellowbelly. Good options include a 3-5 or 4-6 bait caster with a 2000 bait caster reel. When bait fishing a 7 foot light rod paired with a 3000 size reel. Good bait rigs would include a paternoster rig with a small sinker at the bottom or a running sinker rig with scrub worms or yabbies. There are some amazing surface lures on the market these days including imitation mice, frogs, ducks, and snakes with realistic action that are fun to target cod with. Bait anglers can target Murray cod with live yabbies and worms.
Targeting Carp at Coliban Reservoir
There is a large volume of carp in local lakes however they are fun to catch and you can learn more about catching carp read our detailed guide to carp fishing around Victoria. When targeting carp standard baits such as corn, bread, and maggots work great for carp here. Using a simple running sinker rig with a pea-size sinker works great in this area. So, does suspending baits using a float. We have also fished well using unweighted baits. You can also target carp with hard body lures and soft plastics. This is a difficult technique that generally requires sight casting. This means spotting a nearby carp and casting right in there are and working the lure of plastic slowly hoping they will strike. It’s tough but very rewarding when you catch a carp using this method. Most however will stick to targeting them with bait.
For rod selection, a 3-5 kilo rod coupled with a 4000 size reel is very suitable. You could even fish a little heavier with rods designed for snapper that are generally 4-7 kilo 7 foot in length. For fun, I have caught some monster size carp using 2-4 kilo rod and 6-pound braid. But I am prepared to lose some good fish in the process. We like to target carp on sundown, particularly in the warmer months. This is often when you see carp swimming along the edges or jumping out of the water around September-November which is their spawning season. European carp must not be returned to the water. Always carry your Victorian fishing license.
A simple yet effective fishing rig here is to thread a small running sinker through the mainline shown in blue, which is usually around 8 pounds. Then tie a medium swivel to the end allowing the sinker to run up the mainline freely. Then tie on the other end of the swivel 50cm of 8-pound fluorocarbon leader (the leader is shown in grey ). Finished with a hook. I generally use a size 6 bait keeper hook or size 10 long shank which is perfect for corn kernels or scrub worms, however, you can also use small treble style hooks which is a better setup if you using bread.
If your getting snagged up then you can also use a float rig. Attach a quill or bubble float to your mainline. Thread the line through and adjust the length using a size 6 bait keeper hook or size 10 long shank to keep your bait suspended at a good depth. Ideally cast down breeze which will stop the float from coming back to you. If you’re not getting bites then adjust the line depth and If necessary add a splint shot to add weight.
When fishing there are lots of snags so be prepared to lose your fair share of lures and rigs. Always be careful when walking along the rocks or rock walls which can become very slippery. As with all country areas please be mindful of snakes
No fishing with waders fishing only permitted from the shore, No boats, No cleaning of fish onsite, Always carry your Victorian fishing license, Using berley is not permitted, FishingMad encourages ‘catch & release’ of all native species to help maintain the water quality within the lake however European Carp must not be returned.
All images and videos shown on the Upper Coliban Reservoir Fishing Guide are Fishing Mad originals.
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